Book Review: How to Train Your Dragon 02: How to be a Pirate by Cressida Cowell

This morning’s gym book was How to Train Your Dragon 02: How to be a Pirate (Young Adult 211 pages) by Cressida Cowell.

“When Hiccup finds a coffin at sea, he opens it to discover a riddle that will lead to the treasure of Grimbeard the Ghastly, the world’s greatest pirate and Hiccup’s ancestor. Setting out on a treasure hunt, Hiccup and his friends must master the art of swordfighting! How else will they escape an island of homicidal dragons, defeat a boatload of Viking pirates, and survive a dirty double cross?”

I think this review is going to be very short because it’s remarkably late for me and also because I really don’t want to give way anything about this book. I think that now that I don’t have the shadow of the fantastic movies hanging overhead that I was able to enjoy this book a lot more than I did the first book, which was very helpful for increasing my enjoyment of this book. While I’m still not a huge fan of an entire series of books about a bunch of guys, I do appreciate that this book focused more on Hiccup as the actual protagonist of this story and that the amount of characters in this book was drastically reduced.

Most of the story focused on Hiccup, Fishlegs, Toothless, and Alvin, a stranger to Berk. The Vikings of Berk give Alvin a very solid welcome and they listen to him as they go off in search of glory and riches to an island no one returns from. I liked this because it showed the Hooligans to be very proper hosts and they treat him with great courtesy, which none of the other islands would do if they found a stranger on their island.

I like how Hiccup and Toothless are starting to work more together, but I’m still really annoyed with Toothless and his whining most of the time. I understand the plot and character arch for this and it has gotten a lot better between the first book and this one, where Toothless is quite a bit more loyal and obedient, though still a bit whiny. Hiccup also continues to show a lot of true leadership characteristics, like caring more about what happens to his tribe than how the village views him. Sure, he’s got some bullies to deal with, but mostly, he’s doing fairly well at just being himself and getting by pretty solidly.

Overall, I think I would rate this as a low-grade three on my rating scale. I enjoyed it much more than the first book and it had some really great messages about problem solving and taking care of the people around you, even if you dislike them.

Works cited: Cowell, Cressida. How to Train Your Dragon: How to be a Pirate. New York: Hachette Book Group, 2010. Original print 2004.

About C.A. Jacobs

Just another crazy person, masquerading as a writer.
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